The Politics of Israel's 'Existential Threats'

By Jamie Stern-Weiner

|| Moshe Ya’alon, then-Israeli defence minister (February 2016):

"Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon told defense officials attending the Munich global security conference this weekend that Iran is the ‘biggest generator of terrorism in the world’, and saying that the recently implemented nuclear deal with Iran posed an ‘existential threat’ to Israel."

|| Moshe Ya’alon, now out of government, attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (June 2016):

"‘The Iranian nuclear program, which was put on ice following the signed agreement, does not constitute an imminent existential threat to Israel, which is limited during the period of the agreement, and we have to prepare for future events’, said Ya’alon.
‘At this time and in the foreseeable future, there is not existential threat to Israel. It is the strongest state in the region and there is an enormous gap with every country and organization stationed around it. Therefore, it is appropriate for the leadership in Israel to cease scaring the citizens and to stop telling them that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust’."

|| It is the same with Israeli politicians’ flip-flopping on BDS. These periodic hysterias over and dismissals of ‘existential threats’ are just gambits in Israeli elites’ jostling for power.